Atmore Movie Theater, Hardware Store Being Restored As Cultural Center

February 9, 2020

An old movie theater and hardware store will have new life in Atmore thanks to a community group.

At the time the Strand Theatre on Main Street closed, the local chamber of commerce said it was oldest continuously operated theatre in Alabama.

The last movie to be shown at the Strand Theatre was in November 2013 -  a first-run film “Free Birds” about two turkeys that traveled back in time to save Thanksgiving. Now, the Atmore community has come together to save the theater and take in back in time to its glory days of the 1920s.

The theater was a regional attraction in its heyday, drawing moviegoers not only from Atmore but from the North Escambia area in Florida and several Alabama counties.

The Pride of Atmore was formed to do the legwork needed to restore not only the 99-year old Strand, but also the 122-year old building nextdoor that housed the Atmore Hardware Store. The price tag to restore both buildings comes in over $3 million.

In recent days, the needed demolition work on the theater has started, with interior walls separating the lobby and the main theater removed, and even the old silver screen is down.

The Strand Theatre will undergo a complete interior and exterior renovation with a new lobby, theater area and marquee. Plans are to use it for community gatherings, live music, short term rentals and movies – second run, independent and classics.

The old Atmore Hardware building will also be renovated into a community space for live music, events and rentals. There will also be a recording studio in a portion of the upstairs area, while the remainder will be used for other arts and cultural programs.

The Pride of Atmore has raised funds through grants and donations from foundations and businesses, but is still looking for donations. For more information, email prideofatmore@yahoo.com or donate using PayPal. Contributions are tax deductible.

Pictured top: The outside plans for the Strand Theatre and Atmore Hardware buildings in Atmore. Pictured below: Demolition work inside the theater is now underway. Pictured bottom. The theater in February 2016. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Comments

3 Responses to “Atmore Movie Theater, Hardware Store Being Restored As Cultural Center”

  1. Cindy on February 10th, 2020 4:08 pm

    The first movie I saw there was Jaws…..the last was Cannonball Run.
    Been a while but good memories.

  2. TJ on February 9th, 2020 3:29 pm

    The last moves I saw there was in 67 or 68, “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?”, and “Valley of the Dolls”.

  3. 429SCJ on February 9th, 2020 7:17 am

    The last time that I saw a film at the Strand was 1968, Walt Disney’s “Never A Dull Moment” was the film’s title.

    Good to see this Atmore landmark persevering the ages.





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